I’ll admit, I had the Pro Bowl on last night. The mute button was hit on more than a few occasions as I made phone calls, and I wasn’t too concerned with any action missed when I left the room for several minutes at a time. If anything, the game was background noise while I got stuff done around my condo.
What’s amazing is that the worst all-star game in professional sports — a sloppy disaster that saw the NFC take a 42-0 lead in the first half — was watched by about as many people as some World Series games. The ratings were through the roof.
What this means:
1) We are all lazy. Could we seriously not think of anything better to do to cap our weekends?
2) Network television isn’t doing a good enough job. Why didn’t CBS, NBC and ABC air something to force our hands? If you’re settling for the Pro Bowl, there has to be nothing else on TV.
3) Our wives and girlfriends don’t have enough power over the remote.
4) Football is football, even when it’s not really football. The game isn’t the same without any competitive value. Plus, there was no blitzing, no disguised defences, no press coverage, no big hits. Yet we still tuned in, because in a very, very flimsy way, it was football. And football rules.
5) The game works when it’s played a week prior to the Super Bowl. The Pro Bowl after the Super Bowl is just depressing. Where it’s positioned now, the home broadcaster is able to use the game to build hype and mark the official start to “Super Bowl week.” Fox also had interviews with Super Bowl quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers at halftime, which surely drew some extra eyeballs.